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Medical Textiles At NCSU
In recent years the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University has focussed its interest and resources on more specialized, higher value-added areas in the field of textile products and technologies. One of these focus areas is the new and growing field of "Medical Textiles", sometimes also referred to as "Biomedical Textiles". This field considers how the latest polymers, fibers and textile structures can be applied in the design of advanced products for applications outside the human body, such as first-aid bandages and wound dressings, orthotic devices, support hose and clothing that is used for the rehabilitation of injuries. Then there are hospital linens and drapes, barrier fabrics, protective clothing, masks and scrubs used in the clinic and operating room. Other novel end-uses include "Biotextiles", which are devices surgically implanted inside the body to replace or repair injured and diseased tissues and organs. They include sutures, hernia and prolapse repair fabrics, arterial prostheses, stent-grafts, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) prostheses and resorbable scaffolds for tissue engineering applications.
This area of medical and biomedical textiles is of particular interest to an increasing number of faculty members and students registered in the bachelors, masters and doctoral programs at the College of Textiles, North Carolina State University. Many ongoing research projects are working in collaboration with medical and clinical colleagues, as well as medical device, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to apply textile solutions to solve important medical and clinical problems. In addition to performing the innovative research, which is described on this webpage, the College of Textiles has created and approved a series of medical textiles courses, which can be taken within the existing graduate and undergraduate programs. These elective courses allow students in the various programs within the College to study biomedical textiles from different orientations, such as materials science, biopolymers, textile engineering, biomaterials design, fiber structure, biological performance, evaluation and quality, the business supply chain and regulatory affairs.
NC State University offers a medical textiles curriculum for the very first time anywhere in the world as part of a university bachelors degree program. The students taking medical textile courses can find summer internships and permanent employment following graduation at local, national and international medical textile, medical device, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Medtronic and Pfizer. Other students find career opportunities in government departments that are responsible for regulatory affairs, such as the Food and Drug Administration, or in clinical and administrative functions within the healthcare sector.